Local Sports, Sports, University

Stemple’s 31 points leads University to bounce-back win over John Marshall

MORGANTOWN — The University High School girls basketball team earned an important victory on Saturday afternoon as the John Marshall Monarchs visited Baker’s Ridge.

The Hawks (5-8) entered the contest desperate for a turnaround victory after falling to 4-8 overall through the first third of the season and facing a gauntlet of a schedule and got exactly that by a final score of 92-55 over JM (9-4).

Five different players scored in double-figures for the Hawks, led by junior Hannah Stemple with 31 points. She shot 13 for 17 from the field, including five triples. She was followed closely by sophomore Brianna Fox who finished with 21 points of her own.

“We told them today that we needed to lock in and pick the intensity up,” UHS head coach Nick Lusk said. “I wanted to see them play a full four quarters of basketball, which we haven’t done this year. We emphasized this being a big game for us and the girls came out and executed like they needed to.”

The Hawks were the ones to fall behind early in the game, as the Monarchs built a 13-6 lead through the opening four minutes that prompted an early timeout by Lusk.

UHS broke the huddle and flipped the script from that moment on.

The Hawks cut the deficit to one point with a quick 6-0 run but wouldn’t stop there as the run grew to 12-1 before the end of the first frame. UHS used the full-court press to turn defense into offense as Stemple scored her first five field goals from close range. She scored 10 in the first to help her team take an 18-14 lead after one.

UHS outscored the Monarchs 30-13 in the second quarter, completing a 42-14 run from the moment they trailed 13-6 and taking a 48-27 lead into the locker room.

“We all feel that we’ve played well as a team despite some results and today we got our intensity back up, even if it took coach getting into us a little bit,” Stemple said with a chuckle. “When we show ourselves that we can come together and play hard all the time it gives us confidence and we know what it takes to make a run.”

JM started well to open the third quarter on a 13-2 run that cut the deficit to 13 points at 50-37, but that’s as close as the visitors would get. Another quick run by the Hawks grew the lead back above 20, and they continued for the remainder of the third quarter to grow the lead to over 30 after three quarters as the hosts led 75-43 going into the fourth.

“When we have everyone contributing the way they did today, with five in double figures, that’s when we are at our best,” Lusk said. “It’s been next-person-up for us sometimes and everyone has done a great job. The way we shared the ball today needs to be contagious and continue because we need everyone on the court to be ready.”

The Hawks will travel for a tough matchup against Steubenville (Oh.) on Monday before traveling across town to visit Morgantown on Friday, Jan. 19.

University 92, John Marshall 55
JM 14 13 16 12 – 55
UHS 18 30 27 17 – 92
John Marshall – Derrow 10 2-5 23; Storm 6 3-6 19; Reese 2 1-2 6; White 1 0-0 2; Miller 1 0-0 2; Inclen 0 1-2 1.
University – Stemple 13 0-0 31; Fox 9 2-2 21; Weaver 5 0-0 11; Johnson 5 1-2 11; Braham 3 4-4 10; Simpson 2 0-0 4; Bealko 1 2-3 4.
3-Pt. Goals — John Marshall 6 (Storm 4 Derrow 1 Reese 1). University 7 (Stemple 5 Fox 1 Weaver 1).